Apple iPhone 5s Review

Call Quality

Apple didn’t really expand on anything related to the iPhone 5s’ call quality during its unveiling, so that’s probably why we don’t notice anything different this time around with its quality. In fact, it’s identical to the iPhone 5, as its earpiece emits a potent punch with its volume output – enabling us to comprehend our callers with ease. At the same time, our callers clarify to us that they’re presented with rich, natural sounding voices that aren’t muddied on their end of the line. However, when we switch to its speakerphone, we can make out a subtle hint of distortion with voices, but it’s nothing too detrimental to the experience. Oh yeah, its noise-cancelling feature is yet again spot on this time around, as it instantly is able to mute out background distortions.


Something we’ve come to expect with the announcement of any new iPhone, Apple claims that the iPhone 5s delivers better battery life than its predecessor. Despite the claim, we don’t actually notice any better battery life this time around, since we’re still getting the same 1 day tally of normal usage from a full charge – while heavy usage permits us roughly 10 hours. Considering the newer and more potent processor it’s packing along for the ride, we can’t complain about the single day of usage, but it would be a nice change of pace to see its tally increased from that.

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.

hours Higher is better
Apple iPhone 5s
5h 2 min (Poor)
Samsung Galaxy S4
4h 59 min (Poor)
6h 48 min (Average)


Crazy to believe it, but this phone has been seeing competition long before its arrival on the scene. Heck, you can argue that everyone was trying to one-up the iPhone 5s way before the first round of juicy rumors came up to the surface, but now that it’s finally here in the flesh, it’s rather interesting to see how the landscape plays out as we near the busy holiday season – as well as the end of the year. Everyone has been wondering if this particular iPhone can still put up a fight, especially when it’s vying for success in an already crowded market filled with big named smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, Sony Xperia Z1, LG G2, and the Motorola Moto X.

From a specs standpoint, we can argue that all those aforementioned smartphones would most certainly manhandle the iPhone 5s multiple times over. However, as consumers are being bombarded on all sides by these specs beasts, the iPhone 5s proves once again something we’ve come to embrace dearly – it works in all the aspects of what makes a smartphone so darn lovable to use. And knowing that, we're sure it’ll continue to be a benchmark device.

Seriously, it’s a premium constructed phone. It has a great quality screen. It’s snappy with its performance. It captures stunning photos and videos. Its call quality is undeniably above average. Its battery life is enough to get us through a single day of normal usage. And yes, even the software on the phone has finally been updated with a more modern presentation. Lastly, it’s just simple to use and operate. So what more can we ask, right?

Obviously, it’s not the most mouthwatering inducing iPhone we’ve seen to date, but considering that it hits the mark in the categories that matter the most, the iPhone 5s proves itself as being a feared competitor in the space. Like we said, there’s nothing in the specs or hardware department that would terrify its rivals, but the updated iOS 7 experience is enough to make this iPhone look and feel different from past ones. That brand new 64-bit A7 processor is unique; however, its true potential isn’t seen or felt that much right now. Rather, we’ll more than likely experience it in the very near future, when third-party app developers begin to take advantage of it. For the money, starting at $200 on-contract, the iPhone 5s is definitely a worthy option fit for your hard earned money.

Software version of the review unit: 7.0.1


  • Updated iOS7 experience
  • Excellent low-lighting photo performance
  • New way of unlocking and app purchasing via Touch ID fingerprint sensor
  • Slow motion HD video capture


  • Battery life is no different

PhoneArena Rating:


User Rating:

47 Reviews



1. Xavier1415

Posts: 190; Member since: Feb 26, 2012

this phone is trash and apple fanboys will buy anything thats apple smh

5. JDogg5281

Posts: 74; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

I wouldnt say it is trash...just a little boring the design hasnt really changed since....ever. Same thick box look.

64. promise7

Posts: 894; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Thick? It's one of the slimmest and lightest smartphones available.

127. Samsungadroidrules

Posts: 104; Member since: Jul 28, 2013

Galaxy S4 has 5 inch screen and yet it is Slim and Lightest. Nit to mention its Advanced features. Unlike this Outdated, Boring Over priced iPhone again.

132. MobileKicker

Posts: 212; Member since: Sep 19, 2013

This comes with touch id fingerprint sensor Does ur dandroid comes with it?

136. realnic55

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 24, 2013

If you're buying a two year old Atrix it does.

151. rightcue805

Posts: 55; Member since: Jul 08, 2013

oooooo it was hacked in the first 3 days.

180. MobileKicker

Posts: 212; Member since: Sep 19, 2013

And "was" updated in the next 3 days

173. Alexs21 unregistered

Wow it comes with a finger print sensor.

186. Neo_Huang

Posts: 1067; Member since: Dec 06, 2013

That's just a gimmick, and probably just a way for the NSA to get your fingerprint. Besides, haven't you heard of the Vivo Xplay 3s? Or the HTC One Max? Or even some 5 year old phone? Get your facts straight before posting.

194. bob_monkeywarts unregistered

The s5 does. My dandroid also comes with face recognition.

181. Alexs21 unregistered

He didn't say it was thick he said it looks thick.

193. bob_monkeywarts unregistered

Right, but it feels thick compared to other phones. Motorola devices are amazingly designed with a curved back, nice materials, and that awesome little "dimple." The iPhone 5s (and the iPhone 5c, and the iPhone 5, and the iPhone 4s, and the iPhone 4, and EVERY IPHONE) is a box that FEELS thick because it's just a slab.

100. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

If Rolls Royce lines are borring, than iPhone's are too.

133. CtK4949

Posts: 35; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Rolls Royce are boring as hell!! Just like the crraple phone!!

7. bucky

Posts: 3784; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Really? What's trash about it? Camera? Screen? AppStore? Sound? Speaker? Support? Updates? Software optimization? CPU? Gpu? I don't get it...

91. saffant

Posts: 274; Member since: Jul 04, 2011

Screen size, and originality (or lack thereof rather).

108. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Yeah, I carry my 55" plasma; I find 5.7" Note to be sooooooooooo small... But I'm a 2.5 m giant with 20 cm long fingers so I can easily use the Note, unlike average 170 cm Joe which would have to use 2 hands.

170. saffant

Posts: 274; Member since: Jul 04, 2011

Get a S4 then, or a HTC One/ Nexus 5 etc. iPhone's 4" screen is a bad.. bad joke.

165. MobileKicker

Posts: 212; Member since: Sep 19, 2013

That's not a strong reason!

169. saffant

Posts: 274; Member since: Jul 04, 2011

Sure it is. That's two BIG reasons. See how people flamed the S4 when it came out cuz it looked to similar to the S3. Well the 5S looks IDENTICAL to the 5. Also, this is 2013.. 4" screens are dead. In this multimedia age, everyone wants a bigger screen.

191. gutuebogdan

Posts: 29; Member since: Oct 16, 2013

Not everyone wants a bigger screen. 4" for a smarphone is perfect. Everything biger than 4, 3" is perfect for a multimediaphone. Just my opinion.

195. bob_monkeywarts unregistered

You are such a fanboy.

122. sabres0809

Posts: 16; Member since: Dec 18, 2012

No originality. Just a finger print scanner and a processor that won't be relevant because everything is made to run on old processors

192. mstar010

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

Are you kidding me? Apple introduced the first touch screen smartphone that was actually good. I feel like everyone else has no originality making phones with smartphones. Plus you get incredible build quality with an iPhone only rivaled by an HTC One. All the other android phones are cheap plastic pos.

152. rightcue805

Posts: 55; Member since: Jul 08, 2013

ALL OF IT! The fact that you guys still don't have a removeable battery, no expandable memory. SUPPORT? HA


Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

Did we expect anything less from iLovers??!! NO!!!! So, take this review and the content herein as biAsed and, therefore, iNvalid since the reviewer (s) have completely disregarded alllllllllllll of the short-comings with this phone and its' lovely lavender-laced iCon operating system. Nevermind the fact that there are at least 100 things that Android can do that iOS/iDudz CAN NOT. Enjoy the fabriCated review as a TMZ article and nothing more. I'm waiting for the reviews for Galaxy Note 3, HTC One Max and Nokia 1520 (Verizon) to seehow they iSpin their reviews in comparison to this quasiPhone review.

49. greathero1

Posts: 584; Member since: Jun 13, 2008

At some point you are going to have to change it up a bit and kill the silly stuff. You ought to get tired of saying the same cheesy stuff everyday. The phone has reviewed well across numerous tech sites so everybody is wrong but you........get over yourself and calm down. The Note will get a 9.5 so you can claim supremacy again in a couple of weeks.

143. darkkjedii

Posts: 31045; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Shhhhhhhhhhh, oh yeah PA already shushed you.

18. Ninetysix

Posts: 2964; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

If it's trash, then what would you call all the phones that it beat in benchmarks? Poop? Sh**? Dung? hahaha

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

iPhone 5s
  • Display 4.0" 640 x 1136 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A7, Dual-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 1570 mAh(10h 3G talk time)

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